Gratitude is something that we don’t normally think of as a business fundamental. With lean operations and the focus on the bottom line, most organizations don’t take the time to weave gratitude and appreciation into their business strategies. But without gratitude, teams begin to break down, clients stop returning, morale takes a turn for the worse, and your business partners will start to lean away.
Without gratitude, your business strategy will not lead to sustained growth over time. Gratitude is the foundation of asset management: if you invest in your assets and appreciate them, in time you will achieve the greatest return on your investment. Research shows that organizations that harness the power of appreciation have more energized employees, stronger social connections with business partners and customers, and they ultimately achieve more.
Most people are hungry for sincere forms of appreciation, and your customers, employees and business partners aren’t different. Here are 3 ways to start incorporating acts of gratitude into your daily business strategy.
Start your meetings off with “Thank you”
Not only does it feel great to say thank you, but also showing genuine appreciation for the efforts of those around you is an investment in their commitment to supporting you and your business. Whether it’s a phone meeting with a client or an in person meeting with your team, taking the time to say thank you will foster more positive relationships. When you say thank you, it’s important to be specific, and not only thank people for their hard work or support, but explain to them what they mean to your business.
Recognize employee efforts personally
Using the standard rewards and recognition program at your company is a good first step, but these programs tend to go stale fast. Surprising your employees with a personalized reward or recognition of their efforts goes a long way. This could be something as small as a coffee from their favourite coffee shop, or a gift card to a restaurant that they can share with the family. To encourage a culture of gratitude in the workplace, you could also use the “pay-it-forward” technique: give two small gift cards for coffee to an employee, and ask that they take a co-worker out for a coffee who has recently helped them out on a big project or securing a sale.
Offer a private sale or exclusive preview of a product to your best customers
One of the best ways to make someone feel appreciated is to make them feel like an insider. If you have an upcoming product launch, think about weaving in a private demo day for your best customers to not only show them you appreciate their loyalty but that you value their feedback. Customer appreciation sales are also key to developing repeat business. When you make people feel like an insider, it has big benefits, as exclusivity often leads to a boost in word of mouth.
Whether you’re already taking the steps to weave gratitude into your business strategy or you’re just beginning to consider ways to show more appreciation, it’s important to remember that your professional and personal brand aren’t separate and distinct. Consider these five tips for managing your personal and professional brand and find ways to incorporate gratitude into all areas of your life—the benefits will speak for themselves!